In the realm of DMX lighting control, the choice between 8-bit and 16-bit resolution plays a pivotal role in determining the level of precision, smoothness, and creative potential your lighting setup can achieve.

8-Bit DMX Lighting Control

In the context of DMX, an 8-bit control offers a resolution of 256 steps for each channel. This granularity might suffice for basic fixtures that require straightforward adjustments such as turning lights on/off, adjusting basic color parameters, or implementing simple effects. While 8-bit resolution is suitable for many applications, it can lead to noticeable steps in transitions and gradients, limiting the smoothness and subtlety achievable in more nuanced lighting effects.

Pros/Cons: Requires less channels, suitable for a large number of applications however sometimes doesn't have smooth results. 

16-Bit DMX Lighting Control

16-bit DMX control elevates the precision significantly by offering 65,536 distinct steps. This finer control proves essential for achieving smoother transitions, seamless gradients, and precise positioning in complex lighting effects. Fixtures utilizing 16-bit control are commonly found in applications that demand a high degree of precision and finesse, such as moving lights, intricate color mixing, and detailed pan/tilt positioning. These extra steps are created by using two DMX channels instead of one per attribute. 

Pros/Cons: Requires more channels, but does produce significantly smoother result.
8-bit Colour Example:
The 256 steps limits the colour specturm especially during long fades from colour to colour and during dimming.
16-bit Colour Example:
The 65,536 steps provide a far smoother transition between colours and during dimming.
8-bit Movement Example: 
16-bit Movement Example: 
A moving head fixture tends to have 540° of Pan movement. Whilst using 8-bit control, this means that for each of the 256 steps, the moving head will move 2.1° per step. Over a short beam distance to the object you are trying to light, this movement might suffice, however over longer distances this would make precise control impossible. 
The first channel (often referred to as 'coarse'), acts in the same way as an 8-bit channel, moving a moving head fixture 2.1° per step. The second channel (often referred to as 'fine'), then provides 256 steps in between each of the first channels steps. This means that in full 16-bit mode a moving head would move 0.008° per step.